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Birding Cape May

Program Number: 14349RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/22/2013 - 9/27/2013; 9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014; 10/26/2014 - 10/31/2014; 4/19/2015 - 4/24/2015; 5/10/2015 - 5/15/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Cape May, New Jersey
Price starting at: $845.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Cape May has earned a reputation as one of North America's best birding locales because of its diverse set of protected natural areas at the intersection of two major migration flyways. Spring brings warblers and other songbirds. Autumn highlights hawks, falcons, eagles and other raptors. The backdrop is a charming seaside town with Victorian architecture and a scenic lighthouse.




Highlights

• Explore Cape May Point State Park, site of the world-famous Cape May Hawk Watch, to spot the inhabitants of beaches, ponds, marshes, fields and coastal forests.
• Experience a morning boat ride through Cape May Harbor into the salt marsh and back-bay environment, with a visit from a local birding authority.
• After a field trip to one of the premier songbird migration hotspots on the East Coast, sit for a tea luncheon and explore the Emlen Physick Estate — Cape May’s only Victorian House Museum.



Activity Particulars

Groups for birding field trips will be no larger than 12. Walking up to two miles daily on varied terrain; standing up to an hour at a time.



So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.




Date Specific Information

9-22-2013

Program coincides with Fall Bird Migration.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



9-21-2014

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



10-26-2014

This program will have a focus on hawks and raptors.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Explore New York, Corp.




Cape May

More than 600 authentically restored Victorian structures make up this National Historic Landmark City on New Jersey's southern shore. Dubbed the nation's "First Seashore Resort," Cape May has been welcoming visitors to its white-sand beaches since the 1800s. Also a birding "hotspot," Cape May attracts more than 400 species of birds a year.



Accommodations
This oceanfront hotel is dedicated to recreating the grandeur of a by-gone era while providing all modern comforts and conveniences for a most enjoyable stay.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart is the chief outreach officer for the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. She has a degree in art, a background in graphic arts and a love of history. Mary is a fiber artist, and fell in love with fabric and yarn early in life. She enjoys researching Victorian holiday celebrations, and conducts workshops to create vintage decorations and cards. Mary is a member of the Cape May Artists Cooperative Gallery, where she exhibits her one-of-a-kind bags, scarves and hats.
 
Robert Heinly

A former college professor, Dr. Robert Heinly is the Museum Education Director for the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. During his career as an educator, Robert served as a curriculum supervisor, administrator and mentor to student teachers. He is also an experienced living history re-enactor, having played roles at Independence Hall National Park. In Cape May, he has become Dr. Emlen Physick, the eccentric doctor who built the Physick Estate and was a civic gadfly in his era.
 
Rich Chiemingo

Rich Chiemingo is a museum educator for the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities, as well as a lighthouse keeper at the Cape May Lighthouse and an observer at the World War II Lookout Tower. As a living history interpreter, he shares his perspective on American composer and band leader John Philip Sousa. Prior to retiring to the Cape May area, Rich has also held a career in the music industry, including a stint as a military bandsman.
 
Mark Garland

Mark Garland is a birding enthusiast who has worked six years as a naturalist and ranger with the National Park Service, 17 years with the Audubon Naturalist Society and four years with the New Jersey Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory. A University of Maryland School of Agriculture graduate, he authored the book "Watching Nature: A Mid-Atlantic Natural History," published by the Smithsonian Press, and he wrote the chapter "Canal Walk" in the anthology "City Birding."
 
Gerry McGee

Gerry McGee is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He graduated from Manhattan College and worked in Midtown as a corporate vice president for more than 40 years. Gerry is a board member and treasurer of Music Before 1800, Inc., which presents eight concerts of early music each season on Sunday afternoons.
 
Pat Sutton

Pat Sutton is a freelance writer, photographer, naturalist, educator, lecturer and wildlife garden consultant. She utilizes her own garden as a “teaching garden,” and features it in many programs and workshops, and shows it during private wildlife garden explorations that she has led for 21 years. Pat and her husband, Clay, are the authors of the landmark book, “Birds and Birding at Cape May,” a summary of their efforts over many years to document and protect the migration and the hometown that they so love. Pat has been a working naturalist since 1977, first for the Cape May Point State Park and then for 21 years with New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, where she was the naturalist and program director. Pat has a master’s from Rowan University in environmental education and an undergraduate degree in literature from the State University of New York at Oneonta.
 
Clay Sutton

A life-long resident of Cape May, Clay Sutton has worked for the past decade as a self-employed environmental consultant, naturalist and field biologist. He also has experience as an environmental planner and program administrator, and served as the vice president of an environmental consulting firm, specializing in threatened and endangered species. Clay was a long-time instructor for the American Birding Association’s Institute for Field Ornithology, and is the co-author of several books including “Hawks in Flight,” “How to Spot Butterflies,” “How to Spot Hawks & Eagles,” and “How to Spot an Owl.”
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Inn of Cape May
  Cape May, NJ 5 nights
 Inn of Cape May
Type: Hotel
  Description: Set aside your 21st Century mindset and return to an earlier era. Webster’s defines “quaint”ť as marked by skillful design, unusual or different in character or appearance, or pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned. The Inn of Cape May is all of these. When it was built, it represented the latest in Victorian style. It is a classic representation of the Cape May of old, a good option for the budget conscious, and the place to feel what resort life was like in a simpler time. Each modestly-sized guest room has a different configuration with unpretentious furniture similar to what you would have seen in 1894. There may be either a queen- or a king-sized bed; few rooms have two beds. Because there were no closets then, there are shelves with clothes hooks. The concessions to modernity are retro-fitted bathrooms with showers, heat and A/C, and cable TV. The Inn of Cape May has a restaurant, bar, and in-ground pool. Public areas feature Victorian knick-knacks and architectural details. The quirky small elevator is original (and can only be operated by a member of the staff). What may be the most pleasing aspect for many is its location in one of the most delightful spots along the beachfront, within walking distance of the main pedestrian area, where you can relax during free time, rock on the verandah, and watch the ocean or the passing parade.
  Contact info: 7 Ocean Street
Cape May, NJ 08204 USA
phone: 609-884-5555
web: www.innofcapemay.com
  Room amenities: Guest rooms are located on 2nd through 5th floor, though Road Scholar participants are generaly placed on 3rd and above to be removed from street noise. Rooms are furnished with double, queen and/or king-sized beds, cable TV with remote control, heat and air conditioning. Every bathroom is equipped with a shower, though some are stall showers and some are in tubs. Some bathrooms are equipped with grab bars. As the bathrooms are a 20th century retrofit, the guest rooms are modestly-sized and differ in lay-out and configuration. Rooms are not equipped with telephones or alarm clocks. Small refridgerators are available for guest rooms by advance request. The room assignments are made based on needs of the group and can't be changed from one view to another.
  Facility amenities: The family owned and operated Inn of Cape May features fifty one unique hotel rooms, each furnished with wicker and antiques, many featuring views of the Atlantic Ocean. Although the building is historic, it offers modern day comforts such as a lobby seating area with gas fireplace, WiFi in the public areas of the first floor and the front desk that is staffed 24 hours a day. The hotel does have a vintage elevator, which is not self-service. It must be operated by hotel personnel who are available 24 hours a day. There is a first floor restaurant and bar. Free guest parking is available directly across the street. A 15 minute loading space is directly in front of the main entrance and a bellman is available for convenient check-in. There is an in-ground pool, open seasonally. The hotel is on the oceanfront, just a short walk from the main pedestrian shopping area and within easy walking distance of many fine restaurants.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Some rooms have tubs with showers; some only stall showers.
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for rate. Rates vary by season.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for rate. Rates vary by season.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration in hotel lobby 3PM to 5PM. Registration for guest rooms begins 4PM. Wine and cheese reception in dining room 5PM to 6PM. You will be staying at Inn of Cape May that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at hotel at lunchtime (approximately 1:30pm) You will be staying at Inn of Cape May the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free for hotel guests. Participants will get a permit for their car at check-in.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cape May, NJ
  Nearest city or town:  Atlantic City, NJ
  Nearest highway: Garden State Parkway
  Nearest airport:  Philadelphia International Airport; Atlantic City Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Cape May, NJ
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Philadelphia

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Rapid Rover
phone: 856-428-1500
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$185
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours 

 

Distance:

 

100 miles

   

If two people are traveling together, it is usually more economical to rent a car, even though you don't need one in Cape May.

 

Philadelphia

 

To Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
NJ Transit
phone: 973-491-9400

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$18.25
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

4 hours 

 

Distance:

 

100 miles

   

The hotel is about 3 blocks from the Cape May bus terminal. Local cab service is available: AArt's Taxi (609-898-7433) and AA Plus Cab, 609-889-9595.

 

Atlantic City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Royal Airport Limo
phone: 609-748-9777
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$85
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

If two people are traveling together, it is usually more economical to rent a car, even though you don't need one in Cape May.

 

New York City

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
NJ Transit
phone: 973-491-9400

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$33.25
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

250 miles

   

The hotel is about 3 blocks from the Cape May bus terminal. Local cab service is available: AArt's Taxi (609-898-7433) and AA Plus Cab, 609-889-9595.

 
Driving Directions
  Altantic City Airport Take Atlantic City Expressway South to Exit 7 (Garden State Parkway). Take Garden State Parkway to its end. Take Rte. 109 into Cape May (through marina district). Stay in right lane and follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave. (first traffic light). Turn left. Take Madison to Beach Ave., turn right. Take Beach to Ocean St. Turn right. Hotel is on your right. Approximate driving time 1 hour
  Baltimore, Washington DC I 95 to Delaware Memorial Bridge, to Rte 40 East, to Rte 55 South, to Rte 47 South, to Garden State Parkway South into Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. or via the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, exit the terminal onto Rte 9, to Rte 109 South into Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. (Approximately 3 hours from Baltimore and 4 hours from Washington.)
  New York Garden State Parkway South to Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. (Approximately 3 hour drive.)
  Pennsylvania Walt Whitman or Ben Franklin Bridge to Rte. 42 South, to Atlantic City Expressway, to Garden State Parkway South into Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. (Approximately 2 hour drive)
  Philadelphia International Airport Exit airport to I95 N. Take Walt Whitman Bridge to NJ. Take Rte 42 to Atlantic City Expressway to Exit 7 (Garden State Parkway). Take Garden State Parkway to its end. Take Rte. 109 into Cape May (through marina district). Stay in right lane and follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave. (first traffic light). Turn left. Take Madison to Beach Ave., turn right. Take Beach to Ocean St. Turn right. Hotel is on your right. Approximate time 2hours.
Equipment Requirements: If you have binoculars and scopes, please bring those with you.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration/Wine and Cheese Reception/Orientation
(Sunday, September 22)
   
 Afternoon: Program registration in hotel lobby 3PM to 5PM. Registration for guest rooms begins 4PM. Wine and cheese reception in dining room 5PM to 6PM.
 Dinner: 6pm: Three-course, individually plated dinner served in hotel dining room. Choice of three menu items including meat, fish and vegetarian.
 Evening: Introductions, review of week's programs and menu, orientation to hotel and area.
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Coastal Birding Field Trip Birding ID Workshop
(Monday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: 9:00am: Breakfast in hotel dining room. A hot breakfast is offered daily, with three different options offered in rotation during the week. Participants can also choose from oatmeal, fruit bowl, yogurt or cold cereal daily. Toast basket with jams and jellies also available.
 Morning: 7:00am: Pre-breakfast guided beach bird walk. 10:00am: Birding field trip to Cape May Point State Park, site of the world-famous Cape May Hawk Watch, where habitats include beach, dune, freshwater pond, marsh, field and coastal forest. Also includes a visit to the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: Lunch in the hotel dining room. Choice of two menu items, typically featuring soup or salad, half sandwiches, with dessert
 Afternoon: 1:45pm: "Building Better Birding Skills" - Illustrated interactive lecture with naturalist.
 Dinner: 6pm: Three-course, individually plated dinner served in hotel dining room. Choice of three menu items including meat, fish and vegetarian.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Hawks in Flight: a powerpoint program presented by Pat & Clay Sutton on techinques to improve your identification skills with raptors.
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field Trip to Birding Hotsposts
(Tuesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: 9:00am: Breakfast in hotel dining room. A hot breakfast is offered daily, with three different options offered in rotation during the week. Participants can also choose from oatmeal, fruit bowl, yogurt or cold cereal daily. Toast basket with jams and jellies also available.
 Morning: 7:00am: Pre-breakfast guided bird walk around town. Coffee will be available in hotel before walk. 10:00am: Birding field trip to Cape May Point State Park, site of the world-famous Cape May Hawk Watch, where habitats include beach, dune, freshwater pond, marsh, field and coastal forest. Also includes a visit to the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: Lunch in the hotel dining room. Choice of two menu items, typically featuring soup or salad, half sandwiches, with dessert
 Afternoon: 1:45pm: Field trip to various other Cape May birding hotspots including the South Cape May Meadows and the Beanery. Exact itinerary will be decided by naturalist Mark Garland based on where the best birding can be found.
 Dinner: 6pm: Three-course, individually plated dinner served in hotel dining room. Choice of three menu items including meat, fish and vegetarian.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Lecture: Victorian Cape May: 400 years of the history of Cape May and general Victorian social history. Cape May has been a seashore resort attracting visitors for more than 200 hundred years. Learn how and why the resort developed and about its founding families and famous visitors. Once you know about Victorian Cape May, learn about Victorian society. Informative hand-outs accompany each lecture.
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Back Bay Birding Cruise Luncheon at Emlen Physick Estate
(Wednesday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast in hotel dining room. A hot breakfast is offered daily, with three different options offered in rotation during the week. Participants can also choose from oatmeal, fruit bowl, yogurt or cold cereal daily. Toast basket with jams and jellies also available
 Morning: Back bay birding aboard the pontoon boat Osprey, a leisurely cruise through a unique coastal wetlands environment to see the watefowl that make their homes there.
 Lunch: Enjoy a traditional Tea Luncheon at The Carriage House Tearoom and Cafe on the grounds of Emlen Physick Estate. Lunch includes homemade tea breads, salad, sandwiches and dessert.
 Afternoon: Guided field trip through Historic District and through the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May's only Victorian House Museum. This 15 room mansion has been restored and portrays life as it was lived more than a century ago. Trolley shuttle transportation provided to and from hotel. Afterwards, participants are free to explore on their own.
 Dinner: 6pm: Three-course, individually plated dinner served in hotel dining room. Choice of three menu items including meat, fish and vegetarian.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Birding Fieldcraft workshop Birding ID workshop
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Coastal Birding Field Trip
(Thursday, September 26)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast in hotel dining room. A hot breakfast is offered daily, with three different options offered in rotation during the week. Participants can also choose from oatmeal, fruit bowl, yogurt or cold cereal daily. Toast basket with jams and jellies also available
 Morning: 9:45am: Coastal birding field trip. Search for shorebirds, waterfowl, terns, gulls, and other birds of the coast. Spring session includes visit to Delaware Bay where migrating shore birds feast on horseshoe crab eggs. Autumn session includes visit to NJ Audubon Avalon Seawatch, a project which tallies nearly a million migrating water birds in peak years.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: Lunch in the hotel dining room. Choice of two menu items, typically featuring soup or salad, half sandwiches, with dessert
 Afternoon: Birding Lecture: A local expert continues your education on tips and techniques to identify various birds.
 Dinner: 6pm: Three-course, individually plated dinner served at Merion Inn. Choice of four or five menu items including meat, fish and vegetarian.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Next Steps in Birding Workshop
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Magic & Mystique of Cape May
(Friday, September 27)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast in hotel dining room. A hot breakfast is offered daily, with three different options offered in rotation during the week. Participants can also choose from oatmeal, fruit bowl, yogurt or cold cereal daily. Toast basket with jams and jellies also available
 Morning: 9:45am: "Magic and Mystique of Cape May:" Powerpoint presentation highlighting the birding and ecology of Cape May and explaining why so many birds come to Cape May each year. Graduation and evaluation.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: Lunch in the hotel dining room. Choice of two menu items, typically featuring soup or salad, half sandwiches, with dessert. Boxed lunch available for early departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Cape May, NJ Cape May County Historical Museum
(609) 465-3535 For additional information, visit www.cmcmuseum.org
  Leaming's Run Gardens
(609) 465-5871 For additional information, visit www.leamingsrungardens.com/
  Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts
(609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278 For additional information, visit www.capemaymac.org
  Naval Air Station Wildwood
Aviation Museum PHONE (609) 886-8787 For additional information, visit www.usnasw.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Birds and Birding at Cape May


Author: Clay & Patricia Sutton


Description: Birds and Birding at Cape May is a must have both for those who have birded Cape May for many years and those who wish to make their first visit to Cape May. The book includes 568 pages of text, maps, site descriptions (including precise directions to finding sites), a seasonal checklist of Cape May birds, summaries of hawk and seabird counts, short historical accounts of Cape May, more than 100 black and white and color photos, weather and birding at the Cape, a butterfly list of Cape May, and tidbits about Cape May’s history. Available through the Mid-Atlanitc Center for the Arts' Museum Shop- 609-884-5404, extension 142.



Cape May: Queen of the Seaside Resorts


Author: George Thomas and Carl Doebley


Description: This is a wonderful reference and souvenir of your stay in Cape May with an introductory historical essay and an extensive section of photographs of the most historic buildings of Cape May. This fine book is available at the Museum Shop of the Emlen Physick Estate and can be ordered online from the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts or call 609-884-5404 ext. 117 for mail order.



The First Resort


Author: Ben Miller


Description: Coffee table book with great, rare archival photos and articles about Cape May's past.



Watching Nature: A Mid-Atlantic Natural History


Author: Mark Garland


Description: In Watching Nature, naturalist Mark Garland takes readers on field trips among the plants and animals of the cool highlands of West Virginia, the forested ridges and valleys of western Maryland and central Pennsylvania, the gently rolling Piedmont region around Washington, D.C., and the flat coastal plain extending from southern New Jersey to Virginia Beach. Anecdotes from the author's own adventures - the nocturnal sighting of a rare bird, a feast of wild mountain blueberries, a winter afternoon at the shore - uncover the surprises that even the most familiar landscape can yield. Describing seasonal events such as Potomac valley wildflowers blooming in early spring, shorebirds converging on Delaware Bay mudflats in mid-May, and monarch butterflies migrating over mountain fields in early fall, the author also provides itineraries for visiting some of his favorite spots. Complete with black-and-white watercolor illustrations, maps, an extensive bibliography, and listings of resource organizations, Watching Nature emphasizes the accessibility of the natural world.





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